The Standard Journal

Tornado drill happening this morning

- From staff reports

The Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency will hold a statewide PrepareAth­on! tornado drill starting today at 9 a.m., which will include students in the Polk School District as well.

GEMA/HS urges Georgians to participat­e, as the peak of tornado activity typically occurs in the spring months.

This event coincides with Severe Weather Preparedne­ss Week to encourage Georgians to prepare now for whatever weather may come our way.

“This year has been unpredicta­ble for Georgia when it comes to severe weather,” said Homer Bryson, director of GEMA/ Homeland Security. “Thundersto­rms, straight-line winds, tornadoes and ice storms have found a home in much of Georgia in January alone. Being prepared is one of our highest priorities, so we encourage Georgians to prepare now for the unexpected.”

Superinten­dent Darrell Wetheringt­on said that Polk School District will be taking part in the tornado drill this morning as part of the state’s effort to ensure everyone is ready.

Ready Georgia’s PrepareAth­on! for Tornado Safety is part of America’s PrepareAth­on!, a national, grassroots campaign designed to increase individual and community preparedne­ss and resilience through hazard-specific drills, group discussion­s and exercises throughout the year.

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), tornadoes are the leading severe weather-related killer in Georgia. They have proven to be some of nature’s most violent storms, appearing with little warning and generating wind speeds that can exceed 250 mph. There were numerous tornado events for 2016 in Georgia with no deaths. GEMA/ HS encourages Georgians to do all they can to be prepared for this type of weather to prevent any loss of life.

To prepare, plan and stay inf ormed about t ornadoes, Ready Georgia shares the following tips:

Before a drill

Make a Ready kit for at least three days of self-sufficienc­y.

Familiariz­e yourself with the terms that are used to identify a tornado hazard.

A tornado watch means weather conditions are favorable for tornadoes to develop.

A tornado warning means either a tornado is occurring, or expected to develop shortly in your area and you need to take shelter immediatel­y.

Determine in advance where you will take shelter during the tornado drill.

During a drill

Announce the start of the tornado drill and inform participan­ts that they should act as though a tornado warning has been issued.

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